First Clip from ’12 Years a Slave’ Introduces a Free Solomon Northup


12 Years a Slave movie clip
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

You’ve probably already seen 12 Years a Slave and I do have to say one thing about it, it’s a bit of a Hollywood-ization of what this film truly offers. I mean, it sells it as if it’s a Steven Spielberg movie when this is very much a Steve McQueen movie. Spielberg has definitely tackled some tough content in the past, but McQueen forces his camera to linger a little more and, in my opinion, makes movies that are far less accessible. When I first saw the trailer I leaned to the person next to me and plainly said, “You can’t make a Hollywood trailer for a Steve McQueen movie.”

You’ll know what I mean once you see the movie as it begins hitting theaters on October 18, but for now you can get a little taste with this first clip from the movie offering a look at Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, a free man in 1841 New York, and a look at him before he was captured and sold into slavery where he would remain for twelve years.

Here’s a snippet from my “A+” review out of Toronto:

Such flawless filmmaking deserves every bit of praise we can dote on it, but at the same time it’s not pleasant to watch. In fact, watching 12 Years as Slave is to dwell in purgatory for 133 minutes. If you’re willing to subject yourself to its horrors you’ll be rewarded with some of the highest level of filmmaking you’ll see all year, but in the end you’ll be leaving the theater in a stupor.

You can read my full review right here and check out the clip directly below.